The Case for Expanding Child Support Obligations to Cover Post-Secondary Educational Expenses

20 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2012

See all articles by Carol R. Goforth

Carol R. Goforth

University of Arkansas - School of Law

Date Written: 2003


In Arkansas, a parent is only required to pay child support until the child turns eighteen or graduates from high school. Given the rising college tuition expenses and the increasing necessity for Post-Secondary Education to earn a living, the statute should be amended to extend a parent’s obligation further, to aid their child’s entry into college. In the past, exceptions have been made when a child had a severe handicap that justified further support. Recently, some states have required continued child support to help with the cost of tuition. For example, North Dakota issued a list of factors that could justify continuing child support that focused on financial difficulties rather than handicapping conditions. Missouri allowed continued child support as long as the child maintained steady enrollment in college. Also, various court cases compelled New Jersey to add college tuition to its acceptable factors for extending child support. Such changes in the Child Support Statutes will be necessary in order for Arkansas to maintain an educated workforce.

Keywords: Child Support, Post-Secondary Education, College Tuition, Financial Obligation, Necessary Education, Child Support Extension, Arkansas, Domestic relations

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K4, K40

Suggested Citation

Goforth, Carol R., The Case for Expanding Child Support Obligations to Cover Post-Secondary Educational Expenses (2003). Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2003, Available at SSRN:

Carol R. Goforth (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
501-575-5601 (Phone)
501-575-2053 (Fax)

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